TCT (David Ochy) Tried To Shut Down La Prensa Last Night
Friday, August 03 2012 @ 10:59 AM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Illegality. Heavy equipment from the company Transcaribe Trading, owned by the Ochy brothers, were stationed (parked) at the entrances of the La Prensa newspaper. They used cones bearing the logo of the Ministry of Public Works as a precaution for drivers who were using the other lane of the street. About a dozen trucks from the company Transcaribe Trading - a company that has been the subject of several publications in the La Prensa newspaper - last night besieged the premises of the Corporation La Prensa in an attempt to prevent the circulation of the newspaper.
The action taken by the TCT workers also prevented La Prensa workers from leaving in their vehicles.
The Chief of Operations of the National Police, Commissioner Bartolomé Agüero, promised the Director of La Prensa, Lourdes de Obaldia, to send riot police to clear the entrances and exits of the newspaper, because the actions being taken by TCT were "illegal."
The workers from this company contradicted themselves when reporters from La Prensa asked them why they were there. While some said they were going to lay down new asphalt on a section of the street, others said they were awaiting orders. When asked why they were going to be putting down new asphalt on the street, because this had just been done a few months ago, the workers looked at one another and one of them said the road "had cracks" because they had not done a good job.
Another group said they would move from in front of the headquarters of the La Prensa newspaper when they were ordered, but others said only the workers would decide when they would leave. An unidentified TCT worker said they were protesting because they want La Prensa to respect free enterprise. He added they would allow the reporters to leave, but it was necessary to prevent the circulation of today's edition of the newspaper. Ariel Garay, from the company TCT, said their jobs in the company are being jeopardized, and they would stay all night and that today in the morning more would arrive.
Numerous politicians and journalists arrived at the scene of the blockade, including the Vice President of the Republic, Juan Carlos Varela, who called the TCT measure "unacceptable." Grisel Bethancourt, the President of the Journalists Association of Panama, said the "drivers have said they are here because this is a war ... It's impressive. We have made reports to Reporters Without Borders and the International Federation of Journalists," she added.
The President of Corporation La Prensa, Luis Navarro, said "events like the one we are living through here strengthen the commitment of the corporation to investigate, analyze and report as a key part of the rights of citizens." "We call on the authorities to investigate the blockade of La Prensa and Mi Diario, identify those responsible, and obey the law," he added. At press time, the promised riot police officers had not been sent to the site.
Ochy Threatens La Prensa Journalists - The businessman David Ochy yesterday threatened to sue the newspaper La Prensa after publications about his involvement in the business of the use of banana lands in Baru, and the contracts obtained by the company Transcaribe Trading with this administration. "We are going to understand in the courts. TCT versus La Prensa," he said. In a telephone conversation with this newspaper yesterday, he said reporters who did the investigation received bribes, and he warned the journalists and the editor of the Economy section, "Yolanda Sandoval, who will see what she does when the complaint is filed ... I'll take care of them," he threatened.
Although he tried to separate himself from the closing of streets in recent days by his company's workers, he announced they will not cease to protest if the La Prensa newspaper does not print a clarification in the headline. He said today they would move the headquarters of the newspaper. "You're not going to play me, nor are they going to touch my buttocks three times, and expect me to remain silent," he said. (Prensa)